NASA astronauts to take flight in historic SpaceX launch

James Marshall
May 28, 2020

According to the NASA, Behnken and Hurley were among the first astronauts to begin working and training on SpaceX's next-generation human space vehicle and were selected for their "extensive test pilot and flight experience, including several missions on the space shuttle". One is that it would have marked the first time a private company launched people into orbit, and this also would have been the first crew to launch from the United States since the space shuttle program was ended in 2011.

Aerospace giant Boeing Co, producing its own space launch vehicles in competition with SpaceX for NASA business, is expected to launch its CST-100 Starliner vehicle with astronauts aboard for the first time next year. Although the launch was called off due to bad weather, the astronauts' new "spacesuits" have attracted attention for their sleek, Tesla-fied, Tony Stark-esque kind of vibe. The rocket will be carrying a Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, to the International Space Station.

Mr Hurley said: "We could see some raindrops on the windows and just figured that whatever it was, was too close to the launch pad at the time we needed it not to be".

"We understand that everybody's probably a little bit bummed out".

But yesterday, the two astronauts who were sat in the Crew Dragon capsule for two hours before the postponement were unable to hide their disappointment at the setback. "That's just part of the deal".

If that happens, the next launch window would be on Saturday afternoon. Everybody was ready today, and we appreciate that and the ship was great.

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had been on hand at the center in Cape Canaveral to witness the milestone event. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.

"When starting at SpaceX in 2002, I really did not think this day would occur".

SpaceX managers have taken another launch poll and made a decision to go ahead with fueling. We are going to do that.

The astronauts, meanwhile, could not immediately leave the capsule after the scrub, having instead to wait for propellants to be offloaded from the rocket so that crews could return to the pad.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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